I’ve talked before about how the U. S. Army likes to test hydrogen vehicles as one of their pet projects offering military solutions. In the past the Army has put up hydrogen fueling stations, worked with Ford and GM on testing hydrogen cars and also worked with Vehicle Projects LLC on building a hydrogen train.
Now, the U. S. Army is testing hydrogen fuel cell technology on one of their largest tanks, the M-1 Abrams. The point is to use a hydrogen fuel cell to power the auxiliary power unit (APU) for electricity for onboard computing, communications and other electronics and sensors.
According to the Army website, “The APU is designed to convert JP8 diesel fuel into hydrogen and then generate electricity through a fuel cell; fuel cells involve a chemical reaction wherein electrical current is generated by the breaking down of a hydrogen atom.”
Along with the secondary power source for tanks, the Army is also experimenting with using hydrogen fuel cells for the main source of power for driving non-tactical vehicles. One day, fuel cells as well may be the main source for driving tanks.
Hydrogen is already powering German submarines, Spanish submarines and Greek submarines so the idea of hydrogen fuel being used as the main power supply for U. S. tanks is not that far-fetched. Even though the future of hydrogen seems to be creeping up on us slowly, if we blink our eyes, it will be here sooner than we think.